The Homer softball team survived day one at the Alaska School Activities Association state small-schools tournament with two wins and a loss, leaving the Mariners with a 9 a.m. Saturday matchup with conference opponent Kodiak.
The Mariners cannot afford to suffer another loss, which would end their season on the spot.
Homer 17, Hutchison 1
In their opening game Friday, the Mariners crushed the Hawks with a dominating performance, going error-free while Hutchison committed four.
Isabel Beach led Homer in hitting, going 3-for-3 with four RBI and three runs. On the mound, McKi Needham went all 3-1/3 innings with four hits, one strikeout and zero walks. Needham and Maggie LaRue also had two hits each.
Homer scored four runs in each of the first two innings to establish an early lead, getting runs from a bases-loaded walk by Beach, a ground ball from Lauren Kuhns, and a passed ball and wild pitch from Hutchison. In the second inning, LaRue stole home and Needham smacked a double to score runs.
The win paired Homer with a quarterfinal game with Juneau-Douglas.
Juneau-Douglas 15, Homer 0
In the quarterfinals, the Crimson Bears shut out the Mariners to advance to the state tournament semifinals against Ketchikan. Homer dropped into the double elimination bracket with the loss.
Homer could only muster one hit in the game, while Juneau hit 15 times. After one inning, Juneau held a 6-0 lead, then scored seven more in the second.
Homer got its lone hit from Isabel Beach, a double in the second inning.
McKi Needham started as pitcher but lasted one inning, giving up five hits and six earned runs. Pam Jantzi took over in the second, giving up seven hits and seven runs, and Jordan Raymond finished off the remaining two innings with three hits and two runs (one earned).
Andrea Gordon and Sophie Hultberg each hit 3-for-4 for Juneau and Hultberg brought in three runs. Savanna Schauwecker pitched three innings with one hit and five strikeouts.
Homer 8, North Pole 3
The Mariners finished Friday with a win over the Patriots. North Pole suffered from eight errors, while Homer had one.
After taking the lead in the top of the third when Needham scored on a North Pole fielding error, LaRue managed to distance Homer with a ground ball single in the sixth inning that scored Kayla Stafford and Riley Walls reached base on an error that brought home Larsen Fellows.
LaRue, Walls, Needham, Beach, Fellows and Mary Hanna Bowe each had one hit.
Needham went the distance (5-2/3 innings) on the mound, giving up two hits, three earned runs and two strikeouts.